Bledsoe is an extended narrative poem that centers on a mute Appalachian man named Durant Bledsoe. Specifically, the poem takes place in the mountains of Yancey County, North Carolina, in an early part of the 20th century. Durant Bledsoe’s mother is dying with a brain tumor and he must take care of her, all the while coming to terms with the fact that she, in her suffering, has asked him to take her life. The book focuses much on landscape and on Bledsoe’s complex psychology and perceptions of the world, specifically as they apply to culture, family, religion, and identity.
"Rarely has a contemporary poetic voice achieved the incantatory with such skill, echoes of Cormac McCarthy's word-hoard pulsing throughout!"—Kathryn Stripling Byer
“Sometimes a prayer, sometimes a scream, sometimes a folksong, the poem is a narrative of care giving, devotion, violence, and love. You will not soon forget it.”—Robert Morgan